Captained by experienced shutterbugs David and Karla Banks, Banks Photography imbues students with tricks of the sharpshooting trade. Hands-on classes taught by the photographers prep apprentices for real-life portrait sessions or encounters with natural wonders such as wildlife or flowers. The Banks also apply their expertise to photo-snapping services, travelling to weddings, engagements, and graduations to immortalize the moment when newlyweds cut the cake or a daughter hurled her graduation cap into orbit.
With a bevy of samples, stencils, and friendly advice, Outside the Lines helps lubricate the creative engines needed to craft one-of-a-kind pottery masterpieces. Dish decorators and bowl bedazzlers can take their pick of more than 275 pieces of unadorned pottery waiting patiently to be outfitted with strategically placed dollops and streaks of paint available in more than 90 colors. After choosing from a selection of dinner plates ($14), mugs ($13+), cereal bowls ($14), dog bowls ($17+), and animal figurines ($11–$22), blossoming artists plan a design strategy and apply a base coat. Classes in watercolors, drawing, or clay are available for participants to hone their artistic expression without painting a self-portrait on the neighbor’s front door. The two-hour Throwing is Good class ($25), held three times each month, introduces children and adults to the pottery wheel and allows each students to mold their own custom piece just like a set of dazzling brass dentures.
Kaitlyn had thought about opening her own art studio for a while. After graduating college in 2008, she immediately began her teaching career at a local middle school. Finally, in the spring of 2013, while on the hunt for a side gig, Kaitlyn fulfilled her dream and opened Elements Art Studio. here, she shares her artistic wisdom just as she does during school days, including with age-appropriate classes and camps for children aged 5–14. But unlike middle school classes, Elements lets grown-ups tap into Kaitlyn's artsy acumen, too. Adults can sip drinks in between the brush strokes of BYOB classes.
While teaching jazz dance in the 1960s, Judi Sheppard Missett decided to step away from tradition by offering an experimental class that allowed her students to simply dance without the judgment of mirrors or the constraints of rigid technique. In these sessions, she began infusing popular dance moves with specific fitness workouts to forge a distinctive blend of cardio exercise, strength training, and dance instruction. Little did she know that this “just for fun” class was the prototype for what would become the national fitness sensation known as Jazzercise.
Today, Jazzercise takes its aerobic techniques from a variety of sources that include jazz dance, hip-hop, resistance training, Pilates, yoga, and kickboxing. The class formats, which vary according to different toning goals, are just as diverse as the program's move set. Two-time Dancing with the Stars champion Cheryl Burke is a big fan of the improvisational routines, although her advanced skills aren't needed to get the most out of classes. Instructors cultivate a noncompetitive atmosphere where all exercisers—with the exception of those marked as cursed by jazz-hand palm readers—are welcome regardless of age, build, or fitness background.
Though its name may conjure fantasies about sprinting down crowded streets or bench-pressing buses stalled in traffic, Urban Active Fitness grants its members abundant space in which to spread out and follow their workout proclivities. At dozens of locations across the Midwest and South, members can sculpt their bodies in whichever manner they choose—from personal training with resistance machines and free weights to group classes in cycling, Zumba, and Pilates. A number of group classes draw on the gym’s urban theme for inspiration. Urban Iron, for example, focuses on building muscles that resemble the cast-iron beams of skyscrapers, and Urban Yoga closely imitates the poses necessary to squeeze onto a subway train at rush hour.